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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 4, December 2014

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Christopher Luck
Upper Beeding, West Sussex, England


Breakout

surrounded by the debris
of a day's cans
the alcoholic watches
a damselfly
dry out

The creature, emerged from its pupa, stands stock still on the branch of a buddleia tree at the edge of the wasteland. The tramp notices the wreckage of its former self discarded on the ground. He hears the church bell chime. The damselfly stirs, its nascent wings move slowly. Then it flies off.

The tramp kicks out at the cans under his feet. Their rattling disturbs the solitude around him. Images of the damselfly, now exulting, mating, living the remaining weeks of its short life, begin to quicken within him.

he shuffles at first
then strides with
new resolve
out of time's cleft
into the lifehouse


Author's Note: 'lifehouse' refers to the name that the Salvation Army has adopted for their hostels for the homeless.

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end

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